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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 27, 2014 | By Patrick McGreevy
SACRAMENTO -- A Senate leader may have solved one mystery raised in an FBI affidavit released after the arrest Wednesday of state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) on suspicion of wire fraud and firearms trafficking: the identity of "State Senator 2. " The affidavit alleges that Yee accepted $21,000 in campaign payments from an undercover FBI agent posing as an Arizona man in the medical marijuana business to arrange meetings with two unidentified state lawmakers in 2013. On Aug. 26, 2013, Yee introduced the undercover agent to a legislator identified in the affidavit only as "State Senator 2" and Yee received $10,000 for his seceretary of state campaign for that introduction, the document alleges.
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NEWS
March 26, 2014 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- With the parties in Congress unable to find common ground on ways to help struggling middle-class voters, lawmakers instead are promising to spend the weeks ahead defining their different approaches to the sluggish economy. Democrats in the Senate rolled out an election-year agenda Wednesday in an appeal to middle-class voters. It includes new tax breaks for college and child care, and expanded refunds for lower-income workers. Democrats will also push for votes on extending unemployment benefits and raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour as President Obama has proposed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 2014 | By Jean Merl
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Wednesday endorsed attorney Igor Birman, one of three Republican challengers hoping to take on the freshman Democratic congressman representing a Sacramento-area district. Paul's endorsement should help Birman's efforts to portray himself as the most conservative of the GOP challengers to Rep. Ami Bera (D-Elk Grove). And it brings  more national attention to the race because Paul is being discussed as a likely presidential contender in 2016. Several Birman supporters, wearing T-shirts touting their candidate, attended a Paul speech last week in Berkeley.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari plans to unveil a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for tax breaks for job creators, fracking of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business, increased spending on water storage and capping certain legal payouts. The plan, to be released in San Diego, is the first policy the candidate has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. He faces a test, arguing against a popular incumbent in a Democratic-leaning state where unemployment has dropped 4.1 percentage points since Gov. Jerry Brown took office three years ago, dipping to 8% in February.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari unveiled a jobs plan Tuesday that calls for corporate tax breaks, hydraulic fracturing of some California oil deposits, reduced regulations on business and increased spending on water storage. The 10-point plan, focused on manufacturing, water, energy and the business climate, is the first policy Kashkari has set forth since announcing in January that he would run for office. The former U.S. Treasury official said his plan would "unleash" the private sector, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
GOP gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly's campaign appears to be on dire financial footing, according to disclosures filed with the state Monday that show he has less than $11,000 on hand and $148,000 in unpaid bills. Donnelly has long argued that he was running an unconventional campaign grounded in grass-roots support, not money. But in a state of nearly 18 million registered voters, he faces a steep hurdle to reach voters before June's “top two” primary. During the most recent fundraising period, from Jan. 1 to March 17, Donnelly raised $183,206.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 23, 2014 | Patrick McGreevy
A cherry farmer from the San Joaquin Valley holds the key to California Republicans' hopes of loosening Democrats' grip on the state Legislature. Andy Vidak, a Republican who owns an orchard in Kings County, stunned both parties last year with an upset victory in a Senate district where Democrats have a 22-point advantage in voter registration. He ran largely on the basics, promising to cure a shortage of both jobs and water in the agricultural district and oppose the costly bullet train proposed to split the Central Valley.
OPINION
March 23, 2014 | Doyle McManus
Here's what the United States has done so far in an attempt to deter further Russian incursions into Ukraine: applied two rounds of economic sanctions and asked Congress to approve $1 billion in loan guarantees for Kiev. Here's what President Obama says he won't do: "We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine," he told a television station in San Diego last week. PHOTOS: A peek inside 5 doomed dictators' opulent lifestyles The president's careful response and unwillingness to consider military intervention has met with general support from other Democrats.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2014 | By Evan Halper
WASHINGTON - Hoping to get pot legalized in Nevada, an investment firm specializing in the fast-growing marijuana industry invited the ballot initiative's backers to pitch 150 financiers at a Las Vegas symposium. Within 10 minutes, they raised $150,000. Political contributors are not the only ones taking notice of the new realities of the marijuana business, said San Francisco-based ArcView Chief Executive Troy Dayton, who estimated his group would pump about $500,000 into pot this year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 21, 2014 | By Seema Mehta
One of four gubernatorial candidates introduced to California Republicans recently is a registered sex offender who spent more than a decade in state prison, convicted of crimes including voluntary manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape. Glenn Champ, 48, addressed hundreds of GOP delegates and supporters Sunday at the site of the state party's semi-annual convention. Introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte and allotted 10 minutes, Champ spoke in between the main GOP candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
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